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Chalres Darwin: the most influential psychologist in history

Perspicuo

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I totally agree with Allen Fraces on this subject (actually I found these articles attempting to find if anyone else has had this idea):

Darwin, the Greatest Psychologist
http://www.project-syndicate.org/co...he-study-of-human-psychology-by-allen-frances

CORONADO, CALIFORNIA – Most people do not think of Charles Darwin as a psychologist. In fact, his work revolutionized the field. Before Darwin, philosophical speculation shaped our psychological understanding. But even great philosophers – Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Locke, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and others – could only describe current mental events and behaviors; they could not explain their causes.

CommentsView/Create comment on this paragraphDarwin provided the profound understanding that evolution has influenced the shape of our minds as strongly as it has the shape of our bodies. Since humans evolved from the same primate ancestor as modern chimpanzees or gorillas, he suggested one could learn more by comparing human instincts, emotions, and behaviors to those of animals than one can surmise from subjective speculation. As he put it, “he who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.”

Freud built on Darwin’s evolutionary insights in order to understand psychological symptoms, dreams, myths, art, anthropology, and much more. Freud’s biographer, Ernest Jones, was mistaken in calling Freud “the Darwin of the mind.” Darwin himself was the Darwin of the mind; Freud was his great popularizer.
Emphasis mine.

Freud's genius was putting Darwin's instinctualist ideas to work in understanding specific phenomena, like dreams, lapsi linguæ ("Freudian slips"), and virtually everything else. The idea is basically, that whatever you do, your behavior expresses instinct as much as learnt restraint, and even the restraint is fueled itself by instinct.

Freud also gave instincts an interpretation which today we call a "hydrodynamic" interpretation, meaning that instinct had to have some sort of outlet, either displaced or sublimated (socialized, acceptable and successful, i.e. not producing conflict or neurosis [inhibition, symptoms or anxiety]). It's a wonderful shorthand guide for case conceptualization, but I'm unsure of its being literally true. What I understand is that instincts should be allowed non-harmful outlets because holding them back is needlessly unpleasant and therefore stressful, not because they accumulate energy. As far as I know, the "energy" of an instinct or drive is genetically set, and what increases it (in addition to hormones, etc) is cognition (the "Feeling" of frustration, of not getting your part in sex or food like "everyone else" is supposedly having).

In any case, reading this, you get the feeling it's at least half of what Freud put into his theories (from HERE):

Darwin's most fundamental conclusions:

•We are animals -- just part of the grand tableau of creation, not its purpose.

•Our instincts, emotions, and intellect evolved from a common primate ancestor -- just as completely as did our bodily form.

•We can understand ourselves best by studying the psychological, as well as the physical, steps in that evolution.

•Our psychology is the product of the natural and sexual selection of reproductively adaptive chance variants -- it was not preplanned or inspired by divine intervention.

•The mind and its consciousness are a product of brain functioning in a way that is not essentially different than digestion is a function of the gut.

•Psychology can be studied using the standard experimental and observational tools of science.

•People all over the world, despite differences in their current customs, are brothers and sisters within one human species, sharing the same basic emotions and intellectual endowment.

•The child is father to the man -- we can learn about the psychology of the individual and evolution of the species by carefully studying the maturation of behaviors in infants and children.

•Instincts are not completely fixed but interact with the environment.

•Unconscious forces play a large role in influencing are our behaviors.

This is also interesting:
And Darwin also established novel methods of psychological study that have since become standards in the field:

•His statement that we can learn more about ourselves by studying baboons than by reading the great philosophers created the field of evolutionary psychology and provided the opportunity for deep insights into human motivation and behavior.

•Darwin's Biographical Sketch of an Infant detailing his minute, naturalistic observations of the day to day emotional, intellectual, interpersonal, and moral development of his eldest son created the field of child development.

•Darwin's method of studying emotions and facial expressions using photographs he commissioned for this purpose is still an enormously fruitful research tool.

•Darwin conducted the first survey in psychology -- a written instrument gathering information from scientists and missionaries to show the universality of human emotions all around the world.

It took some time for scientists to put these methods to work. For decades such methods lie dormant.
 

rousseau

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Makes sense. Evolutionary theory goes a long way in explaining not only the physical make up of life, but it's phenotypic expression. I'm yet to come across a psychological idea that's contributed more to my insight on human behavior, if you know of one.. please let me know.
 

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The title of the article is sensationalist, but that's a compelling argument that Darwin's ideas influenced a lot more than just biology.
 

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I've read in the past few years several polls about the most influential author among psychologists. The polls, most from the US, come up with Freud, Skinner or Rogers in first place, but lately I've been thinking, in my own mind, yes, defense machanisms and operant conditioing come to mind when trying to understand a person's behavior, but then again, I'm largely thinking of innate behaviors and drives, such as envy, jealousy, compassion, atention grabbers, group aggressivity, how bad boys tend to be seen as "cool" and attractive and how girls love them and guys immitate them, how people are all sexual all the time and pretend it's not happening even in church.

Sorry for the long sentence, I know it's not recommended writing, by the way what a nice clear, slightly windy day, I'm hungry, I need to grab something, oh well.

In any case, the amount of behaviors very probably instinctive is impressive. And to think for so long people have found so much pride in believing that "animals" (meaning "all animals excluding us images of God") are controled by instincts and we're not. The noisy ape is so ridiculous.
 

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Freud's genius was putting Darwin's instinctualist ideas to work in understanding specific phenomena, like dreams, lapsi linguæ ("Freudian slips"), and virtually everything else. The idea is basically, that whatever you do, your behavior expresses instinct as much as learnt restraint, and even the restraint is fueled itself by instinct.
Freud's genius? You got to be kidding! Freud should be spelt Fraud.
 

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Freud's genius? You got to be kidding! Freud should be spelt Fraud.

Without him psychology would be little more than applied behavior analysis, which isn't too bad, but Freud put Darwin into psychopathology. Someone else could have done it, cleaner, more agreeable to Popper and Eysenck, but nobody else did. "Coulda", also, leads to speculation, because sure, someone could have done it.
 

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Without him psychology would be little more than applied behavior analysis, which isn't too bad, but Freud put Darwin into psychopathology. Someone else could have done it, cleaner, more agreeable to Popper and Eysenck, but nobody else did. "Coulda", also, leads to speculation, because sure, someone could have done it.
Freud did nothing but spread a lot of false ideas. There is nothing good with Freud. You cannot even say that he was good because he made other want to counter him because his influence beacame too big and has delayed the advent of real, fact based, psychology with decades.
 

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Freud's genius was putting Darwin's instinctualist ideas to work in understanding specific phenomena, like dreams, lapsi linguæ ("Freudian slips"), and virtually everything else. The idea is basically, that whatever you do, your behavior expresses instinct as much as learnt restraint, and even the restraint is fueled itself by instinct.
It isn't very well known that in 1895 Freud began a "Project for a Scientific Psychology" which he could never finish because of inadequate possibilities of contemporary neuroscience.

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ppp/summary/v002/2.2.woody.html

One hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud projected a bold program for a scientific psychology that would be firmly based in neurophysiology. One of the advantages that Freud saw in such a naturalistic approach was that it could show how mental processes could occur independently of consciousness. At the beginning of the "project," he wrote that "the neuronal processes are in the first instance to be regarded as unconscious [unbewusst] and are to be inferred like other natural things." But although Freud was a trained neurologist, the neurology of his day was inadequate to the audacity of his vision of a scientific psychology, and he was drawn towards an increasingly clinical conception of the unconscious mind. It is only at present that we can even envision the possibility of achieving Freud's dream: a notion of the unconscious that is clinically formulated and neurophysiologically grounded.
(my bold)

In last 30 years neuroscience has expanded enormously, producing lots of excellent, less excellent and completely stupid results. The common nominator of long-lasting results seems, IMO, to be the evolutionary approach. Gerald Edelman and his neural darwinism is still on top while the almighty god of time has already eaten up many of his contemporaries.
 

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Freud did nothing but spread a lot of false ideas. There is nothing good with Freud. You cannot even say that he was good because he made other want to counter him because his influence beacame too big and has delayed the advent of real, fact based, psychology with decades.
Have you even read Freud? He was wrong about several things but saying he "did nothing but spread a lot of false ideas" is beyond hyperbolic, it's ignorant. In fact, did you read the articles cited? What the author was writing was a list of psychoanalytic ideas proposed by Darwin, ideas which were surprisingly ignored until Freud spread them. Start with those, as ideas that weren't "nothing but spread a lot of false ideas", then progress to tomes of right ideas and clever suggestions, such as:

  • Listening a lot with patience and acceptance;
  • Technical neutrality;
  • The tripartite model as an illustration of The relationship between learned personality and instincts/drives;
  • Practical distinction between inhibition, symptom and anxiety;
  • Practical dynamic distinction between neurosis, psychosis and paraphilias ("Perversionen");
  • Defended a dynamicist view of personality for the diagnosis of mental illness vis-a-vis Kraepelin's topographical methods;
  • Defending physicalism against Jung's woo and Adler's simplicism;
  • The defense mechanisms;
  • Childhood sexuality [he didn't first invent this, he just spead it far and wide and endured a lot of criticism for it]);
  • Explaining hysteria (an explanation that still stands today with regards to what is now called "dissociative disorders");
  • The bio-psycho-social model (called by him, "complementary series");
  • He did away with catharsis and substituted it with a sort of cognitive-centered therapy (although many ignorant people attribute catharsis to him, which is ironic);
  • Established the importance of instinct-laden unconscious mental processes in parapraxes, jokes and dreams;
  • The role of familial ties in structuring personality (jealousy, envy, fear, threats, lust, love, seductions, losses, etc);
  • Etc...

He was wrong about female sexuality, but he was keen enough doubt himself about this and many other things. He charged with women psychoanalysts to further research and correct him, which they did (Melanie Klein and Karen Horney, principally), even if most male psychoanalysts ignored these interesting authors, especially the American Psychoanytical Society which came to dominate the Internation Psychoan. Assoc.

Your "Nothing but... false ideas" is an offense to history.
 

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Without him psychology would be little more than applied behavior analysis, which isn't too bad, but Freud put Darwin into psychopathology.

Nah, most of the valid ideas in modern Psychology come via the intellectual lineage of experimental psychology whose work preceded most of what Freud had to say. People like Wundt, Tichener, William James, G Stanley Hall, etc.. James and Hall made far better and more valid use of Darwin's ideas. The schools of Structuralism and Functionalism would lead into Behaviorism which would get saved by the Cognitive revolution which found ways to study the structualist and functionalist questions about subjective experience and mental processes via the non-introspective empirical experimental of behaviorist methods. Darwin's ideas had validity b/c he applied the systematic observational approach of first accurately describing variance and covariance before imposing an explanation on it. More important to psychology than Darwin's ideas was the application of these methods that these early psychologist brought (Wundt studied biology with Mueller and physics with Hemholtz. IT is true that Freud (and Jung) had a massive impact on clinical psychotherapy, much of it for the worse and their ideas and unscientific methods pollute what goes on in therapy sessions the world over. The more valid versions of evolutionary psychology today have very little if anything to do with Freud.
 

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What did Wundt and Tichtener do? What did G Stanley Hall do? William James had some ideas, but he was basically a philosopher, not a hands-on experimentalist nor therapist.

Those schools you mention only antecede behaviorism, and relate to it negatively (behaviorism was a successful rebellion from the inanity of those schools you mention).

BTW, saying 1 invented X and Y is no argument against 2 having invented Z. Your whole post is one big non sequitur fallacy.

And a derail.
 

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Your "Nothing but... false ideas" is an offense to history.
Ok, you are obviously in love with this guy.
Come on. There isnt a shard of science in what he did. He was a writer. Not a scientist. Psychology would be better off without him.
 

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In love? But I'm more a behaviorist. I'm just wearing my history cap. I come to bury Freud, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones; so let it be with herr Doktor.

He did as much science as possible out of a lab. He was trained in neurology labs, and he discovered (as Rilx mentioned) that he could not use the neuro lab at the time for explaining psychopathology.

His ideas were immensely fertile. He wasn't always right, but he was on the right track for many things. Psychology is indebted to Freud the author, not to Freud the starter of a movement called the International Psychoanalytic Association which dominated psychotherapy for too long. That's the real culprit is the leader, not the field anthropologist of patients he was.
 

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You need to be careful attributing all evolutionary ideas to Darwin. He was working with a great many theories and ideas of the time, some of them from Psychology. His great contribution was to put them together. The idea of societies evolving over time in response to environmental pressures had been current in social psychology for a decade or so. The idea of creatures evolving in response to natural selection, were already current in bee keeping. He took these ideas and made them into a universal theory. So yes, if you take all the ideas from Darwin, and subtract them from the sciences of the time, there's not much left. But that's not because he invented them all out of nothing, but rather because he drew heavily on the sciences of the time.
 

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What did Wundt and Tichtener do? What did G Stanley Hall do? William James had some ideas, but he was basically a philosopher, not a hands-on experimentalist nor therapist.

They applied more scientific methods of systematic and controlled observation, quantified measurement and experimentation to psychological questions, which is the root of everything with any value and validity in psychology (note that excludes a huge % of what sadly goes on in most therapist offices today). Wundt pushed the importance of grounding psychology in the sciences of physics, human biology, and that the mind was the brain, which all ideas that have allowed for any real advancement in psychological science.


Those schools you mention only antecede behaviorism, and relate to it negatively (behaviorism was a successful rebellion from the inanity of those schools you mention).

Behaviorism built upon the quantified experimental rigor that people like Wundt started. Despite it limitations, behaviorism's contributions of classical and operant conditioning remain greater contributions to psychology today than everything Freud and Jung did combined. Schools of thought come and go, as do most theories, but the scientific quantified and controlled methods of testing ideas and theories remain the most important feature of psychology. As I already said, Darwin, though not an experimentalist, was a rigorous and systematic observer of empirical evidence and the variance and co-variance of traits and behaviors. His rigorous methods (which Freud and most psychotherapists lack) are a greater contribution to the science of human behavior than Freud's invalid twisting and misapplication of evolutionary ideas. What evolution did have to offer psychology was better brought into the field by others.


BTW, saying 1 invented X and Y is no argument against 2 having invented Z. Your whole post is one big non sequitur fallacy.
No, you asserted that "Without [Freud] psychology would be little more than applied behavior analysis", which is utter nonsense. The valid aspects of psychology are those rooted in rigorous quantification and experimentation, and these owe nearly nothing to Freud but rather to his contemporaries who applied natural science methods while Freud engaged in fanciful and wild speculations based upon unsystematic anecdotal storytelling. Your only valid point is that Darwin's evolutionary ideas made important contributions, but those contributions were brought to psychology by people other than Freud. Freud is likely responsible for far more misconception and misapplication of evolution to psychopathology than any valid application.

And a derail.

Pointing out how your baseless assertions are absurdly wrong is not a "derail" it is my duty.
 

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Perspicuo

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...

His (Freud's) ideas were immensely fertile.

...

Dung usually is.

So you think the mind is best replaced with behavior?

I think even Togo would agree that mind is better represented by squirts and percepts than with thinking and flailing. So doing takes us to  Wilhelm Fechner,  Luigi Galvani,  Ernst Mach,  R. A. Fisher, and  Charles Scott Sherrington. Now isn't that better and a bit more continuous in the progress category?

Actually, ideological dung is bad for science. For example, you are repeating the anti-scientific attitudes of the mid 20th century. The good news is that such anti-scientific prejudices are losing ground:

http://www.psychology.sunysb.edu/ewaters/345/1_2009_freud/craemer_defenses today.pdf

Recently, the negative conclusions of Holmes have been called into question. Paulhus et al. (1997) pointed out that "equally careful reviewers (Cooper, 1992; Erdelyi, 1985) have drawn much more favorable conclusions from the same literature" (p. 568). In fact, defense mechanisms and defensive processes are being discussed today across the broad field of psychology.

Although there were procedural errors in many of the early experimental studies of defense, the real sticking point in the refusal to accept the conclusions of these earlier studies was that they implied the existence of
unconscious cognition (see Lazarus, 1998). Yet, recently cognitive psychologists have rediscovered the existence of unconscious mental processes. Virtually every leading cognitive psychologist today accepts the premise that mental processes go on outside of awareness (e.g., Greenwald, 1992; Jacoby, 1991; Kihlstrom, 1987; Roediger, 1990; Schachter, 1987).

Currently, any basis for skepticism in academic psychology regarding the existence of "significant unconscious phenomena has crumbled in the face of recent research" (Greenwald, 1992, p. 773). Although this research has not focused on motivated unconscious processes such as defense mechanisms, it does provide support for the existence of unconscious mental processes, which is a requisite for defense mechanisms.

Psychologists in the field of social psychology have continued to (re)discover the existence of processes by which humans deceive themselves, enhance self-esteem, and foster unrealistic self-illusions. These defensive processes have been "relabeled or rediscovered under the aegis of social cognition or other current theoretical frameworks" (Baumeister, Dale, & Sommer, 1998, p. 1116). "Certain core concepts, for example, cognitive dissonance, were simply euphemisms for the study of defense mechanisms" (Paulhus et al., 1997, p. 563).

Freud didn't set back the progress of psychotherapy. It was the Freud wars that did it, the cultural war between those who were horrified by Freud and those who were enthusiastic. In fact, the decades following Freud, which are the years of the Austrian diaspora and creating of the psychoanalytical hegemony in the clinic were the years of Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis, Aaron Beck, and Fritz Perls, all psychoanalytically trained (except Rogers, who nevertheless was theoretically influenced by Otto Rank, an Austrian psychoanalyst of Freud's first batch of followers). And in psychology proper, they were also years of great discoveries which in large degree had nothing to do with Freud and were not set back by the Freudian hegemony. There is no evidence of a "dark ages" in psychology in that period (which more or less covers between 1930-1970 or 1940-1980, take your pick), and instead it was quite fruitful both in psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytically inspired developments.

So I call bullshit.

And if you have any intention of rebutting this, go ahead, make my day, I have a large stash of documented evidence to reply with, which I have been itching to unpack and throw around generously.

So you think the mind is best replaced with behavior?

Ah, no. By behaviorist I mean methodological behaviorism, not ontological behaviorism. Undust your John Watson to learn the difference. When discussing psychology, use concepts from psychology, not ones from philosophers who paint wonderfully multicolored but nevertheless caricatures of those concepts.

"Mind" as well as "instinct" are outdated words but still useful. Grosso modo, I do believe in mind (i.e. cognition and emotion) and instinct (i.e. inherited behavioral factors).
 

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They applied more scientific methods of systematic and controlled observation, quantified measurement and experimentation to psychological questions, which is the root of everything with any value and validity in psychology (note that excludes a huge % of what sadly goes on in most therapist offices today). Wundt pushed the importance of grounding psychology in the sciences of physics, human biology, and that the mind was the brain, which all ideas that have allowed for any real advancement in psychological science.

Wundt was an ass. He was a philosopher pretending to do science. His work was a post-Kantian caricature of scientific research. His only and yet greatly debatable contribution was his desire to have controlled experimentation. Other than that he left nothing, nil, nada, niente.

Weber and Fechner, who also worked at Leipzig, inspired Wundt's interest in psychology. Yet Willy boy followed neither's methods nor work
in
any
way.

BTW, saying 1 invented X and Y is no argument against 2 having invented Z. Your whole post is one big non sequitur fallacy.
No, you asserted that "Without [Freud] psychology would be little more than applied behavior analysis", which is utter nonsense. The valid aspects of psychology are those rooted in rigorous quantification and experimentation, and these owe nearly nothing to Freud but rather to his contemporaries who applied natural science methods while Freud engaged in fanciful and wild speculations based upon unsystematic anecdotal storytelling. Your only valid point is that Darwin's evolutionary ideas made important contributions, but those contributions were brought to psychology by people other than Freud. Freud is likely responsible for far more misconception and misapplication of evolution to psychopathology than any valid application.

Misconception of what?

Freud: Linked cognition and emotion. Critics: There is no mind. 21st century: There is a mind and both cognition and emotion are strongly connected. Historical appraisal: Freud was right, critics spread confusion for decades.

Freud: Mental processing and motivation are largely unconscious. Critics: Not so. 21st century: Mental processing is mostly unconscious as well as motivation, about which we mostly unaware. Historical appraisal: Freud was right, critics spread confusion for decades.

Freud: Neurosis is generated in childhood by a combination of nature and nurture. Behaviorists: Neurosis can be created at anytime easily and extinguished easily. 21st century: Gee, what to say? Freud was right. LINK, LINK.

I could go on, but it's already noon and I only have one weekend this week, so...
And furthermore, he got a lot wrong, not only right, so my efforts can only give the lopsided image of Freud as all right, which is not my intention. Sigmund Freud is old news, and as such, he will be as outmoded as any.

From the standpoint of history, which is the interest of this thread, whether it is Darwin or [I repeat, the derail subject of] Freud, Freud stands out not so bad as compared with other contemporaneous luminaries, such as Skinner, who was in fact worse off than Freud when seen in 21st century light. Skinner was a reductionist who didn't believe in a mind at all, who thought biology was irrelevant to psychology and who thought behaviorists should control society instead of democracy. We don't honor Skinner for his amazingly asinine worldview, but for what still stands today. That is fair, and it is what should be done with every other pioneer.

None of the paradigms of the first half of the 20th century has survived intact, but all three of the major ones, Psychoanalysis, Behaviorism and Cognitivism (Gestalt or otherwise), were vital in producing present day science.

Freud's day didn't have the high-tech methods (which is what Freud was talking about when he used the term "Neurologie"), he knew this, recognized it and lamented it. In fact, of all the pioneers, Freud's theories were the ones that most relied on high-tech, which didn't exist in his time, and that now exists shows he was on the right path.

Cognitive science is today much more Freudian than it is Skinnerian. And Freud knew that one day psychoanalysis would one day give way to "Neurologie" (neurocognitive and neurochemical sciences).

And, caramba, he was right.

He was visionary.

And he is also old, outmoded and inadequate.

The problem is, most people who participate here have no idea what we can learn from Freud, thanks to American grossly clumsy historical scholarship (which is no surprise, because it is done mostly by behaviorists, who are not real historians and have big axes to grind in this matter*). What I mean is that most people who know something about psychology and reject Freud have little idea what Freud really proposed, except for penis-envy. And they only get that right, because it is simple. But don't be fooled, 90% of Freud is neither simple nor known outside of Freud's writings.

For example, the idea that Freud thought trauma was the basis of neurosis (he did, but that was before 1897 and therefore before psychoanalysis proper) and that repression is directed against trauma, and that Freud therefore basically treated all neuroses like PTSD. False, false, false. Freud's theory of neurosis was based on the concept of drive-motivated wish and cognitive defense against such wishes. He opposed innatist ideas of personality weakness (especially against women, poor people and foreigners [who were obviously inferior, mind you!]) with a cognitive-emotional conceptual framework.

... One that has become so mainstream, participants on TFT and FRDB use all the time, inadvertently.

___________________

* NOTE: If you want to read real historical scholarship on Freud, I suggest Peter Gay's "Freud: A Life for Our Time". The only renowned historian that I know of who has written extensively and exhaustively on Freud lately, and who is not a psychoanalyst himself, and who also seems to have a technical grasp of Freud's conceptual framework.
 

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And a derail.

Pointing out how your baseless assertions are absurdly wrong is not a "derail" it is my duty.

LOL - coming from someone who has only posted baseless assertions against my posts! Sources, please, or you're as baseless as you like to call others. Hermano, don't throw stones at another's roof when yours is made of glass.

We can make this a a nice exchange of information or a flamewar. It's easy... one flame at a time. On the other hand we can quote sources and refrain from including hot language.
 

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And a derail.

Pointing out how your baseless assertions are absurdly wrong is not a "derail" it is my duty.

LOL - coming from someone who has only posted baseless assertions against my posts! Sources, please, or you're as baseless as you like to call others. Hermano, don't throw stones at another's roof when yours is made of glass.

We can make this a a nice exchange of information or a flamewar. It's easy... one flame at a time. On the other hand we can quote sources and refrain from including hot language.

As to the assertion Darwin said we should study other animals to understand our own psychology, I see two shrieking chimps flinging feces at each other.

Looks like Darwin was on to something...
 

fromderinside

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How old was Darwin in 1814?

Well, experimental psychology dates from as early as 1796 to 1820 when Bessel formalized the 'personal equation'.

From "
Mollon, J.D. and Perkins, A.J. "Errors of Judgement at Greenwich in 1796
"


The incident, recorded in the printed version of the
Greenwich observations and noted by von Lindeneau in 1816 (ref. 2), prompted Bessel at
Konigsberg to study differences between himself and other well-practised observers(3). Bessel
introduced to astronomy the concept of the ‘personal equation', an attempt to correct for the
constant errors of particular observers, and his measurements led to the general realization that
perceptual and cognitive processes took a quantifiable time. This astronomical interest in the
personal equation in turn gave rise to the studies of reaction times and order judgements that
dominated the first laboratory of experimental psychology, founded by Wundt in Leipzig in 1879
(refs 4-6); and chronographic instruments, developed by astronomers to minimize personal
differences, provided the necessary apparatus (7, 8). Historians have taken Kinnebrook's
dismissal to be the event that gave birth to experimental psychology (9)"'. Drawing on previously
unknown correspondence and a new analysis of the raw data, we here reexamine the events
around 1796.
 

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Actually, ideological dung is bad for science. For example, you are repeating the anti-scientific attitudes of the mid 20th century. The good news is that such anti-scientific prejudices are losing ground:

http://www.psychology.sunysb.edu/ewaters/345/1_2009_freud/craemer_defenses today.pdf

Recently, the negative conclusions of Holmes have been called into question. Paulhus et al. (1997) pointed out that "equally careful reviewers (Cooper, 1992; Erdelyi, 1985) have drawn much more favorable conclusions from the same literature" (p. 568). In fact, defense mechanisms and defensive processes are being discussed today across the broad field of psychology.

Although there were procedural errors in many of the early experimental studies of defense, the real sticking point in the refusal to accept the conclusions of these earlier studies was that they implied the existence of
unconscious cognition (see Lazarus, 1998). Yet, recently cognitive psychologists have rediscovered the existence of unconscious mental processes. Virtually every leading cognitive psychologist today accepts the premise that mental processes go on outside of awareness (e.g., Greenwald, 1992; Jacoby, 1991; Kihlstrom, 1987; Roediger, 1990; Schachter, 1987).

Currently, any basis for skepticism in academic psychology regarding the existence of "significant unconscious phenomena has crumbled in the face of recent research" (Greenwald, 1992, p. 773). Although this research has not focused on motivated unconscious processes such as defense mechanisms, it does provide support for the existence of unconscious mental processes, which is a requisite for defense mechanisms.

Psychologists in the field of social psychology have continued to (re)discover the existence of processes by which humans deceive themselves, enhance self-esteem, and foster unrealistic self-illusions. These defensive processes have been "relabeled or rediscovered under the aegis of social cognition or other current theoretical frameworks" (Baumeister, Dale, & Sommer, 1998, p. 1116). "Certain core concepts, for example, cognitive dissonance, were simply euphemisms for the study of defense mechanisms" (Paulhus et al., 1997, p. 563).

Freud didn't set back the progress of psychotherapy. It was the Freud wars that did it, the cultural war between those who were horrified by Freud and those who were enthusiastic. In fact, the decades following Freud, which are the years of the Austrian diaspora and creating of the psychoanalytical hegemony in the clinic were the years of Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis, Aaron Beck, and Fritz Perls, all psychoanalytically trained (except Rogers, who nevertheless was theoretically influenced by Otto Rank, an Austrian psychoanalyst of Freud's first batch of followers). And in psychology proper, they were also years of great discoveries which in large degree had nothing to do with Freud and were not set back by the Freudian hegemony. There is no evidence of a "dark ages" in psychology in that period (which more or less covers between 1930-1970 or 1940-1980, take your pick), and instead it was quite fruitful both in psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytically inspired developments.

So I call bullshit.

And if you have any intention of rebutting this, go ahead, make my day, I have a large stash of documented evidence to reply with, which I have been itching to unpack and throw around generously.

......

"Mind" as well as "instinct" are outdated words but still useful. Grosso modo, I do believe in mind (i.e. cognition and emotion) and instinct (i.e. inherited behavioral factors).

Nice try. A little anti-scientific accusation, a little hand waving, a few gratuitous quotes, and wallah we have your psychology.

So, hell no, I'm not following some antiscientific track.

I described what science is. Its a thread of continuous progress from an inception point. You are spouting stuff from a recycling behavior to genetics view bound up in a little 80% recidivism therapy usefulness that is just now transitioning from structure to process after venturing from structure behaviorism to structure genetics over the last century. (sorry about the use of philosophy terms however they come from  Percy Bridgman a nobel prize winning physicist) Your very quotes validate my claim that psychology has been a recycling dung heap competing of structure and function driven by nature or nurture for over 150 years. Anytime one see a re-discovery in a quote one is alerted to the truth of what I write.

Psychophysics, that branch of psychology that has had a continuous thread of discovery and insight since the personal equation, just keeps true to analyzing process and increasing basis for theory. Can't say that for the stuff it looks to be that you are preaching. Not an accusation mind you, just a too narrow perspective, You write from what seems to be in apologetic slant to those wonderful psychologists who are not back in favor. For instance the terms you accept as not being very useful (ie instinct, mind) and the others you seem to be promoting (unconsciousness) reflect an thing point of view for the study of neuroscience (I like more descriptive words don't you).

This brings me to the second thread of my critique, nature-nurturecology verses neuroscience seen from a consistent point of view over time of comparative or evolutionary neuroscience. Now we are at least referencing some of the same material, but, now Darwin is seen in context of behavior, society, neuroscience and can be traced forward as a continuous thread rather than patched into what others did to relieve themselves. For instance it relates to Lamarck and Darwin's grandfather Erasmus Darwin, Karl von Linne (Linnaeus), and even the geologist Charles Lyell. Now we have the theory of evolution fitting into a developing scientific context. (from Pre-Darwininan Theories http://anthro.palomar.edu/evolve/evolve_1.htm)

I don't blame you for your sentiments. They reflect a majority point of view within populi psychologae. There's always such risk when one delves into a cultural web of thought with new tools. Its often forgotten that the tools transcend the cultural web, just as mathematics transcends physics, chemistry, ecology economics and opinion, leading to tendencies to emphasize the field of study (cultural web) rather than the science of the tools (observation, repetition, public demonstration, experiment, publication, validation, theory). Hell my critique might even apply to current status in Physics if you read the current issue of Scientific American (A Crisis in Physics).

Gosh ain't science and the internet wunnerful.
 
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